Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Mensural clefs or what in Debussy's music?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    149
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Mensural clefs or what in Debussy's music?

    In several places, Debussy uses clefs which look a bit like medieval (mensural) clefs, but still different. What's the point? Check out for instance, Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune.

    Link: http://ks.petruccimusiclibrary.org/f...ch._score).pdf
    Last edited by Gargamel; Apr-02-2020 at 18:49.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,760
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    Do you mean the clefs for the violas and sometimes for the cellos Gargamel? If so they are C clefs and are the usual clef for the violas. It is known as the alto clef when pertaining to violas. For the cellos, the clef (which defines where middle C is) is in a different position and is used when the cello part goes higher into their register to eliminate ledger lines. It is known as the tenor clef when used in the cello stave position.
    There is nothing unusual at all with the C clef, it is the norm in orchestral work.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Apr-02-2020 at 19:10.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    149
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yes, the clefs in the violas. Nothing new in what you told me. I know there's nothing unusual with the alto clef, but the alto clefs used here look very unusual. Even in different versions of this score. I've never seen an alto clef that looks like this in german music.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,760
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    Just trying to be helpful in the absence of any detail from you about what you know.
    Different publishers, different fonts will be the reason I suppose. Things also change over time. Is the score a German edition then?
    Last edited by mikeh375; Apr-03-2020 at 14:33.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    149
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Just trying to be helpful in the absence of any detail from you about what you know.
    Different publishers, different fonts will be the reason I suppose. Things also change over time. Is the score a German edition then?
    I don't know. I just know there's this alto clef looks very different from the usual alto clef you would see in Brahms, Beethoven, Wagner etc.

    Peculiarly, this weird-looking alto clef is actually used throughout several different editions of the same work found on IMSLP.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,760
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    ….well at least it defines middle C emphatically and means nothing else. It really is just a variation of which there are a few. Just an older printing style with no other musical significance.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Apr-03-2020 at 18:35.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member SuperTonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    3,190
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    The design of the C clef in any particular published score would be determined by the publisher, not the composer. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what Debussy or any other composer actually wrote in their original manuscripts.
    The name of the publisher for the Debussy score you posted in the OP isn't anywhere that I could find in the score, but it might be included on the IMSLP detail page for that work. I bet that if you look at other scores from the same publisher you'd see the same C clef design there as well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Euler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Albion
    Posts
    108
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Monteverdi's original format scores have the C-clef written like that, the "ladder clef". I think archaic forms persisted longer in England and France.

    C-clef evolution is something like:

  9. Likes mikeh375 liked this post
  10. #9
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,378
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    After some experience playing orchestral music you learn to recognize the print style for different publishers. You can tell instantly if an older page was printed by Simrock, Barenreiter, Breitkopf, Boosey, and easiest to spot: Novello. Nowadays, with everyone using computer typesetting it's not as apparent. The French publishers had other symbols that were odd: their quarter-rest is a backwards eighth-rest and causes so much misreading in inexperienced groups.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •